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Professorships Department


Basic Principles

From the ninth semester of their employment onwards, full and associate professors (chair or ad personam) are entitled to a sabbatical on average every four and a half years, in which they are relieved of their teaching obligations, in particular. As a rule, sabbaticals can no longer be taken in the two years prior to retirement. The Executive Board of the University makes the final decision on whether or not a sabbatical will be granted (in accordance with § 47 PVO-UZH).


Under the applicable rules, the ninth semester of employment is the first for which a professor may apply for a sabbatical. Thereafter, an application may be submitted every four and a half years, although this is the average figure. You can therefore apply to take a sabbatical at an earlier or later point in time. However, the average rule cannot be used to take two contiguous sabbaticals. Please note that deferring a sabbatical does not entitle you to take additional sabbaticals.


Prior to submitting an application, the regulation of substitution during the absence must be clarified with the responsible institute, seminar or clinic management. The application for a sabbatical takes the form of a letter that must be submitted to the Executive Board of the University through official channels (via the dean’s office of the faculty concerned). Professors with a clinical role must include the approval of the hospital or clinic management concerned along with their application.


The application letter must

  • state the applicant’s research plans during the sabbatical and, above all,
  • explain how their duties in teaching and examinations will be covered during their absence.
  • Grant holders must also explain how the supervision of the grant will be ensured during their absence.
  • If applicable, the letter must also mention any stays abroad that are planned during the sabbatical.

The Professorships Department must be notified in good time, but no later than two months before departure, of stays abroad on official absences of more than one month, so that the correct social security status can be checked. If necessary, UZH will apply to the relevant authorities for the required confirmation of posting/secondment or continuation of AHV subordination.

Please also note the information on travel insurance, especially regarding travel to risk areas.

IP-relevant agreements or commitments

Agreements or commitments concerning intellectual property (IP) may only be signed after a preliminary review and clearance by the responsible UZH offices (Legal Services, Unitectra). In case of doubt, it is mandatory to contact the mentioned offices.

Function as head of department

The function as head of department must generally be relinquished during sabbaticals (including functional allowance). In justified cases and with the agreement of the Dean's Office, a directorate may be retained as an exception.

Weiterführende Informationen


Professorships Department

Gary Bild

Phone: +41 44 634 20 24